Community Stands with Israel at ‘Bring Back Our Boys’ Rally
This past Monday, June 23rd, the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County hosted the ‘Bring Back Our Boys’ rally, in support of the three Israeli teens Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel, who were kidnapped by terrorists earlier this month. The teens, from Judea and Samaria, were taken while trying to hitchhike to go home to their families for the Shabbat, from their school at Gush Etzion.
Sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council, the rally brought together rabbis and other leaders of the Jewish community to stand in solidarity with Israel, showing support and concern for the wellbeing of the young men and their families. An article on the Federation’s website placed the number of supporters at 900, including members of community organizations, agencies, schools and synagogues. The event took place at the Boca Raton Synagogue and had the presence of Rabbis Philip Moskowitz, David Steinhardt, and Jessica Brockman, as well as Cantor Benjamin Tisser and Consul General Chaim Schacham, who joined the program with prayers and personal statements. Also present at the event were State Senator Maria Sachs and Boca Raton City Council Member Robert Weinroth.
In his remarks, Rabbi Moskowitz said, “For Jews around the world this isn’t simply a side story or part of the normal political jockeying in the Middle East. For us this is personal. These are our sons. These are our brothers. These are our boys. And we are here tonight to tell the world, that we’ll continue to feel the pain of our brothers and sisters in Israel, that we’ll continue to advocate on their behalf, that we won’t go away or be silent, that we’ll continue to show them our unified support, until our three boys are brought safely home.”
Members of congress Ted Deutch and Lois Frankel both signed a letter directed to the Jewish community of South Palm Beach, “When any Israeli is taken, the entire country feels a loss; we all feel at loss. These boys could be any of our sons, grandsons or brothers. Tonight we show the people of Israel that the United States and Jewish communities around the world stand with them. We come together to declare with one voice: bring back our boys.”
In a letter to Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Federation declared complete solidarity toward the families of the kidnapped teens as well as the entire people of Israel, saying, “The three kidnapped teens are our sons too, and we join with Jewish parents around the world to offer our prayers, thoughts and solidarity with you as you stand up to terror and mount every possible effort to bring the boys home.”
The latest news on the federation’s Facebook page is that the names of the Hamas terrorists who kidnapped the teens were revealed as Marwan Kawasme and Amer Abu Aysha, operatives from Hebron.
As Israeli Forces continue the search for Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali, the Jewish community remains united and positive for the welfare of the teens and their families and pray for their safe return home. As Consul General Chaim Schacham said in his prayer, “As the citizens of Israel stand in solidarity with the kidnapped boys, their immediate families and the soldiers and police working hard to return them, so too do the Jewish people throughout the world stand in solidarity with the citizens of Israel.”